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Apple demands costly repairs before fixing iPhone batteries, report claims

An investigation by the BBC’s flagship consumer show Watchdog has claimed that Apple is refusing to cheaply replace iPhone batteries without conducting additional, costly, repairs first. 

The battery replacement service was recently reduced in price after it emerged that Apple introduced a throttling feature in a recent iOS update that would reduce the processing speed of older phones in order to protect their ageing batteries.

When this practice was discovered, Apple responded by reducing the cost of battery replacements outside of warranty from £79 to £25. It also added an option to be able to turn off the throttling feature in a recent update.

But now it seems that the price reduction isn’t quite what it seems. Watchdog spoke to several customers who requested battery replacements, before being told that the work couldn’t be done until more expensive work was first completed on the phone, reports The Inquirer.

On the surface, this isn’t an unreasonable request. If a phone’s screen is completely cracked for example, it seems fair to want to replace this screen first, rather than risk it damaging the new components and reducing their life span. In a statement issued to the program Apple said that these repairs would only be undertaken if a phone’s damage “impairs the replacement of the battery”.

But customers are claiming that these repairs are actually “unnecessary”, and range from small dents on the external case of a phone, to “faulty” microphones and speakers that Watchdog then claimed were functioning correctly.

In an ideal world you’d be able to simply go to a third-party repairer to get your iPhone’s battery replaced, but with Apple’s restrictive attitude towards repair shops coming under increasing scrutiny (it recently sued an independent shop owner, for example), people’s other options are starting to feel more limited.

Have you taken advantage of Apple’s battery replacement service? What was the process like? Get in touch with us @TrustedReviews.

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